Since late 2013, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has been working on a revision to Title 29 of the United States Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Parts 1902 and 1904. The primary purpose of the amendment is to improve the tracking of workplace injuries and illnesses. Adoption of the final ruling was released on May 12, 2016, and the components applicable to reporting are set to become effective on January 1, 2017. Anti-retaliatory regulations were initially slated to become effective on August 10, 2016, but due to industry concerns with the scope of these regulations, the implementation date has been delayed (at the time of this writing) to November 1, 2016. The delay will impact the anti-retaliatory components that directly affect the ability of employers to perform post-injury drug screens. Given the current and impending changes, it is important that employers understand the new rules and ensure that their post-injury drug testing policies are compliant with the guidelines set forth and enforced by OSHA.
Have you ever considered renting your home, apartment or secondary property for some extra income? Homeowners around the globe are using online outlets such as Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway to rent out their properties for daily, weekly and monthly fees. These companies cater to owners who may be away for extended periods of time or those who would like to cash in on major events coming to their cities when hotels are at full capacity and visitors are seeking alternative lodging options. For people with desirable ZIP codes, this can become a nice revenue stream. However, before handing your keys over to a third party proprietor, there are several important issues to consider to help ensure that you and your property are protected.
SilverStone Group believes it is important to keep you updated on the repeal/replace activity as it evolves. House Republicans on the Energy and Commerce Committee and the Ways and Means Committee issued a proposed reconciliation “bill” late in the evening on March 6. It will be marked up this week and voted on very soon. It is slightly different than the summary provided to you last week.
Self-driving. Autopilot. Lane assist. Self-braking. Semi-autonomous. Highly autonomous. Fully autonomous. These terms are all used to describe the automation of driving. As this technology becomes more sophisticated, it will likely lead to some major changes in the way we insure vehicles. Many people are beginning to speculate that it could even eliminate the need to obtain coverage for liability to third parties. It won’t be long before autonomous vehicles are everywhere on our roadways, so we have to wonder – could there be some truth to this growing suspicion?
Since the election of President Trump, there has been widespread speculation on just what format the long-awaited “ACA Repeal and Replace” legislation might take. In that vein, we believe it might be helpful to review some high-level thoughts on the potential impact of the draft Republican Reconciliation Bill, for which the reviewing and scoring process should begin this week.
Please keep in mind that the Bill has not yet passed, and if it passes, it is highly unlikely that it will pass in its exact current format. Again, please keep in mind that these are high-level thoughts only:
The debate continues over how governmental entities should fund their pension plans. Unlike pension plans sponsored by private corporations, generally no federal laws exist that define an annual minimum required contribution. Some state and local governments have laws that define a minimum required contribution, while others have none. Most stakeholders agree on several funding policy objectives. However, some objectives are considered controversial, and even when a general objective is agreed upon, some may disagree on how to best achieve or measure the objective.
In June 2015, the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) released new accounting standards that will significantly change how public sector employers report their other post-retirement benefits (OPEB) in their financial statements. The new accounting standards will require reporters of the financial results and the actuaries who assist them to significantly change their procedures as they relate to OPEB reporting. This article will provide a high-level summary of the changes and effective dates of the new accounting standards (more detailed technical summaries of the changes will be provided in subsequent articles). It will also address a planning opportunity to conform to the new accounting standards that could potentially reduce the effort and expense involved in the transition.
Virtually all liability insurance policies require insureds to give notice of an occurrence promptly (or as soon as practical). When an actual claim is made or a lawsuit is filed, the notice requirements become even more important. Furthermore, the reporting requirements can be different depending on whether the liability policy is written on an occurrence basis or a claims-made basis. The following article will elaborate on the two policy types and outline the important differences in those requirements.
There is a newer trend hitting the health insurance industry in the form of concierge-style services. While providing excellent customer service and exceeding client expectations are still priorities among most carriers, the health insurance industry has become more complex and the need for additional assistance has grown.
Terrorism looks quite different than it did 15 or 20 years ago. In the 1990s and 2000s, terrorist acts were typically carried out by large groups against high-profile targets. However, recent attacks have mostly been carried out by small cells or lone attackers seeking maximum casualties in crowded venues. This shift in terrorism trends has insurers and business owners evaluating new risks as attackers go after “soft targets” (people who are relatively unprotected or vulnerable) in events that result in significant loss of life and business interruption, but minimal property damage. There are a number of basic questions business owners should ask to begin reassessing their terrorism risk management programs and determine if new or altered coverage is needed.